Adopting a pet from a shelter is an exciting experience. You might be told what breed or mix of breeds your new family member is. Or, you might be left in the dark. DNA tests become more popular for both humans and pets every year. If you want to find out more about your new dog or cat’s background, an animal DNA test can seem like the perfect way to do it. But is it worth the cost?
The Benefits of Animal DNA Tests
Let’s start with the positive side of animal DNA tests. Knowing your dog’s genetic background can tell you more about the mix of breeds that help make her who she is. And this, in turn, can help you understand your dog better.
Say your dog drives you crazy with her love of breaking free of your home and exploring the world around her. A DNA test might show that she’s a part Siberian husky. Huskies are notorious for being escape artists, which would explain your pup’s inner wanderlust.
Or maybe your dog seems to nip at your heels a little too much. A DNA test might reveal sheepdog ancestry. Your dog is just trying to herd you! He might benefit from participating in a mentally stimulating dog sport like agility or dock diving to satisfy his inner desire for a job to do.
A DNA test can give you a glimpse of how your dog views the world based on her background. But keep in mind that even purebred dogs have different personalities. Genetics don’t determine everything!
The Drawbacks of Pet DNA Tests
Things start getting thorny when you seek out DNA testing to find out more about your pet’s health risks. This is because the FDA does not regulate animal DNA tests. Because of this, the FDA has not approved any direct-to-consumer pet DNA tests to help detect or prevent medical conditions in animals. More often than not, these health tests aren’t completely accurate.
When pet parents try to get ahead of their pet’s supposed likelihood of certain health conditions, they may end up doing more harm than good. So instead of leaning on DNA tests for information about your pet’s health, talk to your veterinarian about any concerns you have.
Is your pet ready for an annual wellness check? Bring your dog or cat into Eastside Veterinary Associates for leading-edge care. Call us at (425) 882-7788 or book an appointment online today.